I feel very sad this morning. Many women who give up children for adoption did so because in whatever way they did not feel like they were enough. Strong enough, wise enough, financially sound enough. It doesn’t help that often this is a true and honest assessment of one’s condition.
I left my first husband due to issues of addiction. He honestly tried very hard, more than once, in a variety of ways to change his behavior so that his addiction was not a part of his life nor our life as a family. I tried to stick it out. Because our family’s financial resources were being poured into satisfying his addiction, I eventually believed my daughter and I would be better off if we separated from him.
I tried to handle the divorce in an enlightened way for our 3 year old daughter. Telling her that her father still loved her and I still loved her but that we would not live together as a family any more. Financially, I wasn’t able to pull it off. I wasn’t able to financially support us. I went to my mom for tiny bits of money to get by. I took on roommates to share the cost of providing shelter. None of it worked.
In desperation, I left my daughter with her paternal grandmother, who because I had to go back to work when she was only a few months old, had always cared for her. I didn’t know if I could drive a truck but I knew the money was good and if I could do it for a little while and save it up, then I could recover her and we might make it.
Often, life does not work out as we plan. Her father remarried and he took physical custody of our daughter. Her step-mother had a daughter and together my ex-husband had another daughter with this wife. My daughter had a family and I know the issues of addiction continued to weigh heavily on this family. I don’t have easy answers.
I had a reconciliation of sorts with my ex-husband not that long ago. No recriminations. Only an acknowledgment of how lucky we both are that our daughter is in our lives. She is an amazing person. In spite of all the challenges, somehow we did something right along the way and both of us would say, mostly the work of becoming amazing deserves 100% credit by our daughter.